The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Tuesday announced the establishment of a Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
This development was confirmed in a statement issued in Lokoja by Bello’s Media Aide, Oogwu Muhammed.
The statement quoted Bello as having made the declaration during the official kick-off of the Federal Government’s Grant for Vulnerable programme under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation at the Government House, Lokoja, the state capital.
The governor lauded the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme.
He explained that the establishment of the new ministry was in line with the overarching vision of the administration of President Bola Tinubu, encapsulated in the: “Renewed Hope Agenda,” which aims to uplift 50 million Nigerians from poverty annually.
Bello said: “My administration has put in place the necessary legal framework and legislative authority for the creation of this humanitarian ministry.
“The Grant for Vulnerable Groups, specifically targeted at the most economically disadvantaged members of the society, will provide beneficiaries with a cash sum of N20,000.
“It’s our belief that the grant will effectively contribute to the administration’s goal of pulling millions of Nigerians out of the poverty bracket.
“We have over the years undertaken various initiatives to reduce and eliminate poverty in Kogi, which include free education in primary and secondary schools, quarterly distribution of food palliatives, and free healthcare programmes for pregnant women and children.
“Additionally, the government has undertaken the responsibility of covering examination fees for public school students, releasing funds such as the N497 million disbursed for the 2024 WAEC fees in October.
“This is as a result of my administration’s Zero-out-of-School-Children initiative, which has yielded substantial results.”
Bello expressed confidence that the Governor-elect, Ahmed Usman Ododo, would build upon these achievements and strengthen ties with the federal and local governments for the overall welfare of the people.
During the ceremony, Dr. Betta Edu, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, congratulated the beneficiaries and commended Kogi State women for their unwavering support for the All Progressives Congress-led administration at both the federal and state levels.
Edu noted that beyond the Grant for Vulnerable Groups, the Federal Government had implemented over 20 social programmes targeting poverty alleviation, food security and human capital development.
The minister revealed that as part of the inaugural phase in Kogi State, 3,000 individuals benefited from the programme.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiwaju Idris Asiru, lauded the Federal Government’s initiative and commended Governor Bello for rolling out numerous initiatives to combat poverty, socio-economic inequality and enhance security in the state.